The Prodigal of the Prodigal

The Prodigal comes to his senses


In all of our understandings of this prodigal passage, what we have to understand is, that this is a parable, this comes along side of something that is happening or has yet to happen, we see Jesus comparing a word picture to what’s going on in and around the surroundings at that particular time and moment, and how he is applying it to a kingdom principle.

We see a young man who wanted a cut of the portion that was due him, not all of it, from the inheritance of his father’s estate to live the good life and experience all the world has to offer, hence the name prodigal.

Prodigal is another one of those lavish lifestyle teachings of Jesus.

And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.

Luke 15:13

Riotous Living: Greek; ásōtos, a prodigal, one who lives loosely and is swayed easily by those around him, living for one’s own desires and for the moment, a reckless soul.

In tasting the sweet and the bitter, and all that implies and has to offer. Getting a good education of the facts of life. He lived lavishly and had all the best experiences that money can buy while it lasted. As with all fun things, it must come to an end. He found himself cleaning up after and dining on scraps with swine, the worst ever career choice for a Jewish boy could ever endured.

When we are living under the a shelter of one’s roof, our whole life experiences really doesn’t prepare us for what’s out there and to truly know the difference between the good and the bad.

In knowing were he came from and where he is at at his present point in time, what a contrast of life experiences in knowing the difference. He found himself making his way back to the security of what he once knew. The prodigal reflects, being a servant in his father house has better appeal than going hungry and dining with swine. Picking up where he left off is much better than where his life has taken him thus far.

The prodigal has one up on his older brother, knowing the true value of the grace shown by his father.

Was his older brother shown the same grace? Did the older show his younger brother the same grace, not according to his father, maybe if the older brother have had some the same life choice opportunities as his younger brother, then he would have had a more gracious demeanor. Humility is better than doing everything right.

What this younger son has, no other of his brethren of the family has known. School of hard knocks, and it does come with a price. Wisdom.

He came to himself

And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!

Luke 15:17

The key phrase is:

He came to – the momentum taking us along the way from one point to another. Ideally the distance between two points from here to there and the experiences and circumstances that have arrived to the outcome.

Taking with us all the good and bad experiences during the journey to the final destination or that has brought us to this destination in our life.

Himself – reflecting on his circumstances in the third person. Or saying or thinking something to himself as a part of working something out in his mind.

This is talking to and looking into oneself as the third person. In one point of view, we are talking directly to someone about you, in the third person we are talking to someone about you, you being the only one present, that being talking to you about you.

Many times many have caught me talking to myself, and when I do, I’m working something through inside my head. Especially when I finding out that I’m being challenged with circumstances.

Illeism

Psychological studies show that thinking and speaking of oneself in the third person increases wisdom and has a positive effect on one’s mental state because an individual who does so is more intellectually humble, more capable of empathy and understanding the perspectives of others, and is able to distance emotionally from one’s own problems.

Illeism /ˈɪli.ɪzəm/ (from Latin ille meaning “he, that”) is the act of referring to oneself in the third person instead of first person. Illeism is sometimes used in literature as a stylistic device. In real-life usage, illeism can reflect a number of different stylistic intentions or involuntary circumstances

Wikipedia

Getting away from yourself

Taking a step back

Previous research has suggested that a psychological strategy called “self-distancing” can help us better control our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. From enhancing our self-control in the face of temptation to helping us reflect on difficult past experiences without getting stuck in a downward spiral of negative thinking, the ability to “step back” a little from ourselves seems to be a useful, if slightly odd, psychological skill.

Curious to learn more about this phenomenon, researchers from the University of Michigan, Michigan State, and UC Berkeley collaborated on a series of 7 studies to see just how much of an impact this slight tweak in our self-talk could have on our ability to rise to the occasion when the pressure is on.

bulletproofmusician.com

Today, this term became all to familiar:

Self-Distancing

New research confirms that self-distancing – talking to yourself in the third person – can reduce anxiety and stress.

anxietycentre.com

This is the original use of the term for self-distancing, nowadays has a two-fold application; today’s self distancing has shown many of us a two-fold purpose. The removal of distractions in our life that will cause us to self reflect, and now we have the free time to do it in.

What is self-distancing

Self-distancing is the act of increasing the distance from your own egocentric perspective when assessing events and emotions that you experience. Based on this concept, there are two main perspectives that people use when assessing situations:

Self-distanced perspective. A self-distanced perspective is an external perspective that you can use when thinking about an event that you’ve experienced, where the self who is analyzing the event is considered to be distinct from the self who experienced it. For example, a self-distanced perspective is the perspective that you use when you ask yourself “why did you just do that?”.

Self-immersed perspective. A self-immersed perspective is an internal perspective that you can also use when thinking about an event that you’ve experienced, where the self who is analyzing the event is considered to be identical to the self who experienced it. For example, a self-immersed perspective is the perspective that you use when you ask yourself “why did I just do that?”.

effectiviology.com

What have we done to make good use of our free time?

Have we ever taken a step back and reflected? This is also called self-reflection. This is reflecting to yourself about yourself in the third person.

How did You get here, where are You going, what can You do to change the course, You being Yourself. This is also called self-reflection, taking a step back and taking a new look at what You see before You in the mirror. What do You see?

Or another way of looking at it, I had an Epiphany, I need to change my course, maybe go back to start a new beginning and begin on the right foot this time.

I’ve learned much about this concerning church and politics. There is very little difference. If we find we are more happy outside of it, then maybe the course needs to change.

These blog posts was a result of my internal reflection and spiritual outlet. A way for others getting to know the real person, and not the persona that many can make snap assessments about.

If the school of hard knocks had a course study, many of us would have PHDs.

Getting to a Point

A point of view is not an opinion.

Point of view definition: First, second, and third person are categories of grammar to classify pronouns and verb forms.

  • First person definition: first person indicates the speaker.
  • Second person definition: second person indicates the addressee.
  • Third person definition: third person indicates a third party individual other than the speaker.

The third self gets the complete picture, he sees his own reflection. Talk to this familiar person in the mirror.


His preparation for the journey back

The prodigal planned and rehearsed what he was going to say to his father.

I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,

And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.

Luke 15:18 & 19

We may feel that we are not worthy to be his child because of our missing the mark, in reality we understand more about ourselves, we become more wise.

We should only come up with excuses of our actions to satisfy our third person self.

And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.

Luke 15:20-21

Later in the passage, we see that the father never did bring it up to the prodigal son but had to with the obedient older son.

The Prodigal did present his much rehearsed speech to his father. But would have it made much of a difference? The father who knows all, maybe he had to learn the hard way somewhere in his early years. The father didn’t bring it up, he was just happy to see his son. As for both of the sons, they did have to bring it up. Some time we can become our own worst adversary with coming up with excuses. The father didn’t say much about it, he just celebrated the safe return of his son. The younger son found that he was a son and a true servant, not out of duty or title but out of a contrite heart.

Like wise, the Lord doesn’t bring it up, we only think we should because it may make us feel better. The Father never did and neither should we, ever again. He already knows, He’s just happy to see you. If you want to bring up the details then I’m sure he will listen.

The Father didn’t hold into account or held conditions on his son’s return, He just celebrated and took him back.

The Jealous Brother

Someone will always point it out for you.

But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.

Luke 15:30

The older brother was beside himself that his younger brother was getting all the attention, the older brother wouldn’t even come into the festivities and participate, he remained an outsider. Then he inquired of a servant what this was all about, and he couldn’t believe what he was hearing, he requested that his father to come out and explain himself.

The father entreated the older son’s request. The elder brother pointed out to his father, his younger brother sin in squandering (selling off) his fathers inheritance with harlots, those whom he become popular with and those who has taken advantage of him. Dad! Shouldn’t you be throwing me this party for me and my friends?

The father did explain himself to the elder brother, he was elated that his youngest has returned to him safely, the elder brother made his faithfulness to his father clear to him, and the father understood this as well and said that, you remained with me, all that is mine is yours. However the older of the two couldn’t see how much of a good thing this was, to see his brother return and how happy it made his father.


A side observation

How is the prodigal protrayed in the fathers house today,

First – A son wanted a portion of his inheritance now, he thought that he could live lavishly on that portion.

Secondly – Are we squandering our kingdom’s inheritance, by asking for a portion of it now? Remember our prosperity is a reflection of our soul condition, and not by our possessions.

This prodigal generation is: I want is now, the give it to me right now generation, or are we willing to wait when it is presented us.

Setting the stage of the message

This is where we must put on Jesus’s robe of righteousness and step into his sandals that we are not worthy to untie, and observe those who were present with him, disciples and who were those others guests surrounding him, and who prepared the feasts. Since there were sinners, harlots and tax collectors on the party list, we can naturally assume it may have been Matthew, being a well to do tax collector.

Then I would think about Peter being a good ol Jew boy, where he and Andrew stood with this new inner circle member.

Jesus’s whole mission here to his disciples was to help them look beyond the superficial and look into the heavenly kingdom. See the kingdom within the people and see their potential and not their faults, the only problem is, is that he had religious stage actors who claim they have arrived through the law and purity, and and felt they were entitled and qualified to pluck the splinters from others eyes.

As for the religious cast, the only reason they came in and sat with the regular folk, was to get some dirt on the man. Of course I’m sure they had to draw straws to who was going to have to be seen with such folk.

And Levi made Him a great feast in his own house: and there was a great company of publicans and of others that sat down with them.

But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners?

Luke 5:29-31

And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.

And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?

Matthew 9:10&11

Are we starting to notice some of the details surrounding him?

Step into the setting, take your places, ready on set; roll’m, and take action

Matthew being well know as a good host and party planner and entertainer that he is, guests were casual dress or come as you are, the guest of honor was carpenter, a heretic in some eyes, a winebibber talking about what goes into new and old wineskins, the others waited outside Matthew’s house because the party either not in their honor or guests didn’t live up to their ideals, they couldnt be seen associating with, prostitutes, drunkards, tax collectors, and other deviants from the established order of proper society, I’m sure we can name a few others of those people. It seems that Matthew extravagance was well noticed in the community. Even the religious cast showed to observe.

Some of those being the good ol’ Jew boys, that being Peter and some of the other band of follower of Jesus, what did they think of all this life outside of their sanctuary built around them? Would they have let them in?

Guest itinerary short list:

The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.

Matthew 11:19

But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work today in my vineyard.

He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went.

And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not.

Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.

For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not; but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.

Matthew 21:27 – 32

Could the above passage be Matthew’s take on the Jesus’s Prodigal Son; Luke’s take was more detailed, even though Luke wasn’t there. Either Luke version was embellished or handed down several times, or matthews version was streamlined of what Jesus was saying. I’m just saying this is a possibility, since the other gospels don’t share the prodigal son account exactly as in Luke’s.

We learned this in the “Prophets of Facade” teaching about giving and forgiving. When we take into context the gospels and how they are presented and how the writer interpreted what Jesus was saying, we will could solve a mystery of what Jesus was actually saying by getting a more complete picture.

There are three key guest invites;

Publicans: tax collectors, those who collect taxes or customs, also looked as in the day, as extortionist amung the people.

John the Baptist addressed Tax Collectors. He never told them to give up their day occupation but do it with integrity. Matthew may have been one of those in the group. Who knows?

Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do?

And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you.

Luke 3: 12 & 13

Harlots: Taken from the Greek word pórnē, which means to sell, or a seller of merchandise, especially the figurative sense interpretation of selling oneself for sexual pleasure. This was both male and female. In context with publicans they were career oriented in taking money from the people for profit, especially those who take advantage of others weaknesses for profit.

Using the word in a figurative sense can also be known as idolatry, or temple prostitution. If this passage reflected on those who sold themselves for sexual favors would make the guest list a little more Spicy, don’t ya think. Just saying.

Sinners: those who missed the mark, or didn’t live up to the law or other’s standards. Lawless Rebels or anarchists against the accepted order some may say. Could even be more prodigals.

SETTING THE STAGE

In keeping instep with Simon and Andrew, they just started following Jesus just after He, the Son of Man was done being baptized by John, there was a few additions to the band of followers of Jesus before the encounter with Matthew. What was going through the minds of the other followers of the Messiah when He stopped and asked Matthew to follow him, a tax collector. I’m sure they were questioning His sound judgement that would allow such a deviant of Jewish society join to the inner circle.

Matthew’s Feasts

When I was thinking about why Jesus could have called Matthew, I was thinking of his occupation, a tax collector, however I started thinking about his personality, parties and hospitality, those who he invited and those who kept them selves out. Jesus thinking that this would set the stage a for the Great Physician needing patients, those who are in need of treatment plans and a prescription regimen for treating their troubles.

These feasts are not the holier than thou feasts. All the trash to the religious society was invited and showed up, no closed doors here, except those who closed their doors on them, come and dine if you dare. Listen to the Word speaking the word. The Great Physician healing the sick, offering prescriptions for what’s ailing them.

Jesus, the honored party guest,

His words, the ultimate Party favor,

he has been known to turned water into wine at weddings.

Publicans, Sinners unite!

JeremiahRising.com

Other feasts in His honor

Jesus was a popular party guest, Matthew’s event wasn’t the only event held in Jesus’s honor, there were other events that he made his way to the Lost Sheep of Israel.

Luke 7:36-50; Paraphrased.

In this passage of Luke we find that a sinful woman crashes a party made in Jesus’s honor by a Pharisee named Simon.

The woman wasn’t an expected guest, however she heard that Jesus was in town and was present at Simon’s place.

No one can really say for sure where this woman came from, but it seems to appear that Simon knew, and she wasn’t an on the invited guest list.

She’s being the only one to fulfill a hospitality tradition during this meal for the guest of honor. She brought a box of costly fragrant ointment, then aniointed him after wiping down his head and feet with her tears and hair, then anoints his head and kisses feet while anointing them.

Simon the Pharisee judges in his heart and questions that Jesus is a true prophet, that he can’t discern that this woman is a sinner and shouldn’t be the one offering him this honor.

Jesus knew Simons heart, and had something to say to him. He painted Simon a picture, and using it as an ointment for his eyes: “Of a creditor with two debtors who owe him money, one more than the other, both were forgiven and sent on their way. Who loves me more?” Simon says, The one who is forgiven more. And then the Messiah forgives the woman’s sin.

He points out to Simon that he didn’t provide his guest with any of these services of hospitality other than the place and the meal. The washing of the feet and hands was customary and was appointed task for the servants, it appears that the kingdom of God found a true servant that could handle the job.

Simon the Leper, whom Jesus healed, has a feast in Jesus’s honor.

Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper,

There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat.

But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste?

For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor.

When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me.

For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always.

For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial.

Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.

Matthew 26:6-13

Here, per Matthew, is another Simon, with this one being a leper, or is it. Since Luke’s Story with another Simon who as a Pharisee has similarity’s and all the gospels share a sinner woman anointing Jesus with costly oil. This makes me think this may have been Lukes personal take on it. Both Mark and Matthew are very similar and follows closely the same timeline up until Jesus’s betrayal with Judas. Same with Mark’s & John’s Gospel. Two gospels shows that Mary Magdalene was the one applying the oil to Jesus. Which would make sense with Luke take, since she used to be a adulteress.

Remember that Luke was a Physician and a disciple of Paul, he was not one of the twelve and wasn’t present when this was all happening. Being Paul’s disciple he was to the other nations or gentiles, not primarily to the Jews.

Zacchaeus the chief Publican

And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.

And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich.

And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature.

And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him: for he was to pass — that way.

And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for today I must abide at thy house.

And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully.

And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.

And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.

And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.

For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

Luke 19:1 – 10

Here Jesus finds another Publican who happens to be the Chief of his trade and wealthy. Some of the good old folk crowed around him were murmuring, here Jesus goes again staying with those publicans and sinners. Jesus knowing beforehand and discerning a sincere heart in the crowd.

Apparently Jesus had to stay where he was welcomed and needed. And He knew who and where they were. I’m sure there was a deeper kingdom principle.

Immediately the little guy knowing who Jesus is, made haste to greet the Messiah and has already pre-destined in his heart to make good on all his wrong practices, he righted those who he wronged. Remember what John the Baptist said to the Publicans that were following him?

Jesus in-turn proclaimed salvation to his house as inasmuch as Jesus is the Son of Abraham, so is the same with Zacchaeus.

The two applications of the message

In many of Jesus’s messages we can find multiple applications, such as give and forgiving and how they are tied together with a purpose. This is the same with this passage.

Jesus came for the lost, who was lost? The Lost Sheep of Israel. Keep this in mind for a future blog post.

If I was to pin this Prodigal on anyone, this would be Matthew. By trade he lived it, as well as his constituent, Zacchaeus the chief tax collector, was the lost sheep of the House of Israel.

If I was to pin the older son any anyone, I would say those who came to judge the guest list, including judging the guest of honor. Jesus came for the Lost sheep of Israel this time around, and seeing that he was the great physician. He didn’t come to lay down the law, but to fulfill it to completion by offering forgiveness of all our sin.

I will give a clue for the next study: God didn’t divorced Judaea the Southern Kingdom when He divorced Israel the Northern Kingdom, He never did. He came for the lost sheep of the house of Israel this time around. One being the House of Israel and the other the House of Judaea. The Jews that dwell in Israel today and abroad are actually Judaeans. Salvation has always been for those with Jewish heritage and faith.

Go not into the way of the Gentiles(or the other Nations), and into any city of the Samaritans( the capital of the northern tribes) enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

Matthew 10:5-8

When this passage was said by him, there were two known houses, the House of Judaea which wasn’t lost, and the other House of Israel who was lost. He didn’t want to focus on the ones who remained true to him through the law, but the lost. No other way to see it. The first commission to the disciples was to the Lost House of Israel, and not the faithful House of Judaea.

When the disciples were sent out under Jesus’s instruction to the lost House of Israel they were still under his instruction, when they and others were sent out as teachers of the gospel they were called apostles. Luke and Timothy was considered a disciple of Paul. Paul was a disciple of Barnabas one of the twelve.

We will notice during Jesus’s ministry he reached out to the Lost sheep, when it comes to the gentiles and Samaritans they reached out to him and He did not turn them away, and they showed more worship and love than his own brethren.

When Jesus came to reclaim the lost sheep, apparently there were sheep who knew that they already were lost. So thinking in contrast, there were those who were lost, however not every one was lost. We as believers in Jesus the Christ as the Church needs to understand the difference. Those who are with Jewish heritage and faithfully follow Judaism are not lost, it is those who don’t or who lost their heritage are the lost sheep. Paul speaks on this in Romans.

When I started to do this study on the Prodigal Son, I started to notice that this fit a pattern with what the Lord was showing me about the two sons. The Jews & and the Gentiles(other nations), or the House of Judaea and the House of Israel. The first advent was the came for the lost sheep of Israel, the second advent is going to be for the House of Judaea.

In summery of the Prodigal Son:

Matthew, being a Jew boy, an outcast from the kosher life of his other brethren. Luke’s story surrounds a father and two brothers, and Matthew’s take on this was the two brothers. Peter was a fisher of men, Matthew was a good host to man and the Son of man. The Fathers house, Christ fathers house, or kingdom of God? The Prodigal was Matthew or the lost son. The the older brother; the religious cast or the House of Judaea, and possibly one or more of His disciples. Especially Peter and Andrew. The father? Who else would he be.


The next Study,

The Two Brothers, Sibling Rivalry, and a Family Reunion in God’s House.

Published by Wyatt Alois Lessner

I’m just a nobody messenger, prophet maybe. The thoughts, meditations, words, messages and other writings are inspired by the author and the finisher of my faith. I’m here only to proclaim and not to justify to anyone whats written. All inspirations in posts are original unless mentioned or quoted in the post. All of God’s rights to it is reserved. Why Jeremiah? He is the Weeping Prophet. God will confirm His word in my heart in this manner. Every Old Covenant Prophet will have their today in the New Covenant Church. Prophets are a extension of a characteristic of their Creator.

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